By not adhering to beneficence physicians harm their patients because it becomes about the physician rather than the patient.
Medical Paternalism does more harm than good because it stifles the patients rational development especially concerning self-determination. Autonomy loses all meaning under paternalism and can lead to a complete breakdown of patient trust in the medical establishment. Doctors may have specialized knowledge but their values may be in sharp contrast with their patients which leads to harm, mistrust, and poor outcomes.
Risk vs. Benefit is an important issue in determining treatment yet it seems medical paternalism again takes place so the outcome is what the physician wants not necessarily what the patient needs. Only end of life gives the patient more choice when it comes to risk verus benefit. The educated patient can surely be trusted in determining what risk means vs reward yet somehow it only matters what the physicians believes. In determining quality of life the Doctor has too much power over medical treatments when clearly it is not their life we are dealing with. It needs to be about patient autonomy when it becomes risk verus reward. The patient lives with the treatment not the physician and for the doctor to interpose their assessment as the final answer is ethically wrong. Doctors at some point become patients and they expect their views to be respected but juxtapose that with a regular patient and it does not work that way. Risk versus reward is a patient decision with a doctor’s input, that is all. Autonomy matters here more than anywhere else in medical descions. Doctors need to respect that.
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